The African American Theatre Directory, 1816-1960: A Comprehensive Guide to Early Black Theatre Organizations, Companies, Theatres, and Performing Groups

By Bernard L. Peterson Jr. | Go to book overview

L

LADY AFRICA COLORED SPECIALTY COMPANY. [Not to be confused with the LADY AFRICA COMPANY.] See Appendix B(2)II.

LADY AFRICA COMPANY // also known as LADY AFRICA'S MINSTRELS. [Not to be confused with the LADY AFRICA COLORED SPECIALTY Co.] Variety and minstrel troupe, active 1901/4. Organized to prod. and perf. Lady Africa, a musical comedy with minstrel elements, written, assembled by, and costarring * Al (Albert) Anderson and his wife Mamie Anderson, who had also perfd. together in vaudeville. The troupe toured the Northeast and New England for three years with a roster that included Fannie Winfred, Helen Beckley, Maggie Davis, and the famed Golden Gate Quartet. In 1904, the show was partially resurrected at a Massachusetts summer resort as a minstrel show called Lady Africa's Minstrels.

◆LAFAYETTE PLAYERS [STOCK CO.] , originally in residence at the LAFAYETTE TH. in Harlem, NYC. The best-known and most successful Afr. Am. theatre company in America up to its time, and the first enduring Afr. Am. dramatic stock company. Active almost continuously from 1915 to 1923, intermittently from 1923 to 1928, and at a new location in Los Angeles from 1928 to 1932. Organized by * Anita Bush (with the help of * Charles Gilpin) from a nucleus of the ANITA BUSH PLAYERS/STOCK CO. ( 1915-16), which had been briefly in residence at the LINCOLN TH., NYC, before moving to the Lafayette in Dec. 1915 after a dispute with the Lincoln's proprietor. The group performed until March 1916 under Anita Bush's name before its name was unofficially changed to the Lafayette Players/Stock Co.

Although the Players began its operations under the theatre management of

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